Red notices against 8 Khalistani militants
Issued on the request of Punjab police, the red notice, an international arrest warrant in 194 member countries of Interpol, against Khalistanis means they can be arrested anytime in the countries in which they are currently residing.Updated: Oct 15, 2019 04:26 IST
Interpol, acting on India’s request, has issued so-called “red notices” against at least eight Khalistani militants based in different countries, including Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) leader Harmeet Singh alias PhD in Pakistan; Gurjinder Singh Pannun, Gurjit Singh Cheema, and Gurpreet Singh based in Canada; Jagdish Singh Bhura in Belgium; and Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) leader Gurmit Singh Bagga alias Doctor in Germany.
PhD, Pannun and Cheema were behind the targeted killings of RSS/Shiv Sena leaders in Punjab in 2016-2017, a spate of murders in which National Investigation Agency, which is investigating the cases, has filed several charge sheets.
Gurmit Singh Bagga’s brother Gurdev Singh was recently taken into custody by Punjab police for his alleged involvement in dropping arms and ammunition in Punjab from Pakistan using drones. He is believed to have worked with KZF chief Ranjeet Singh Neeta and Pakistani spy agency, ISI on this people familiar with the investigations said on condition of anonymity.
Pannun, Cheema and Gurpreet Singh are among top Khalistani leaders whose names, along with KCF (Khalistan Commando Force) chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar, were shared by Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in February 2018.
Issued on the request of Punjab police, the red notice, an international arrest warrant in 194 member countries of Interpol, against Khalistanis means they can be arrested anytime in the countries in which they are currently residing. “This will restrict Khalistani leaders’ movements,” said a senior Punjab police officer who asked not to be named.
Efforts are also being made to get a red notice issued against Hardeep Singh Nijjar and Ranjeet Singh, the people familiar with the matter added.
A senior IPS officer, who is expert on Khalistan militancy said on condition of anonymity that Cheema, Bagga, Bhura and PhD are all associated with Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and are working in tandem to destabilize Punjab.
The NIA, too, claimed on Monday, during a conference of anti-terrorist squads (ATSs) of states, that Khalistani terror groups are emerging as a new threat once again with the help of Pakistan.
The Punjab police officer said that Cheema, a resident of Gurdaspur, is currently based in Brampton. He reportedly visited India in March-April 2017 to operationlise a terror module for the targeted killings. Pannun, based in Hamilton, transferred money for purchasing weapons.
KLF was banned by India’s home ministry in September 2018. Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), Khalistan Commando Force (KCF), Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) and International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) are also banned under terror laws.